Social media and social faux pas

The use of social media in modern-day event planning and celebrating is a relatively unexplored territory, short of making events and inviting people to them, marking them private or public, and waiting for the RSVPs to come in. Most of my friends keep their more formal, more intimate, or more serious gatherings off Facebook entirely; it seems to be the province of housewarmings, open birthday parties, drunken meet-ups, and house parties. Wedding invitations, funerals, bar and bat mitzvot, anniversary parties — all of these seem to be too formal for an event on Facebook, at least in my social group.

However, the post-party roundup seems to go un-addressed in a lot of modern etiquette discussions. Putting an album of pictures up on Facebook where friends who weren't invited to the party can see them? Deciding whether to post a status thanking your biggest helpers and supporters so they can get some community love? Handling how to address the people who were invited but didn't RSVP, or the people who weren't invited who feel like they should have been? None of these things are handled in advice columns…


Dottie’s cookie (and pizza) party

We believe strongly in letting our kids decide what parties they’re throwing (I mean, how else would we have ended up with Nora Lea’s last birthday theme?) Asking Dottie, “What kind of birthday party do you want to have?” returned the answer, “COOKIE PARTY!” so James and I shrugged and went to work and came up with an assemble-your-own-cookies-and-pizza party concept — which turned out pretty simple. Assembling your own food helps divert attention from food sensitivities and gives guests something to do when conversation slows.


Non-sucky Christmas songs to take back your ears

Scenario: I'm having a holiday party and need party-music-that-sounds-cool-but-also-wintry.

Scenario: My cube-mate's been playing Christmas tunes since Dec. 1. If I hear Mariah Carey sing All I Want for Christmas is You once more I will snap. I'd like to take over the airwaves with my own mix for a day — what's a good list to work from?


Offbeat Home has solutions to all the scenarios — songs to stream and songs to buy that are full of jinglebells.